A Stella Review: Making Home (Bay Valley U #1) by Dev Bentham

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RATING 3 out of 5 stars

In his real life, Manu Contrares makes a decent living as a videographer in New York. But when his mother goes into hospice, he heads home to Bay Valley to help take care of her and ends up back at his first job on the janitorial staff of the local college. It feels like a long step down for a proud Hispanic man.

Chris Hall loves teaching but hates research. That’s becoming a big problem because his third-year faculty review is coming up and if he doesn’t make something happen soon, he’ll be out. He’s spending his nights working in the lab on a Hail Mary attempt to save his job.

When the two men meet, it’s explosive. And complicated. Chris is lily-white and culturally tone-deaf and Manu’s only in town for a short stay. It’s a recipe for heartbreak. Still, the pull between them is too strong for either to ignore. Can they overcome their different backgrounds and somehow surmount the geographical problems, or is this a fling that will leave them both more exhausted and lonely than before?

I chose to review Making Home because although the author is well known in the mm community, I actually read just another book by her and specifically this story’s blurb interested me quite a lot and I was curious. I have to say I dived into the book as soon as I had it in my kindle and finished it in one night. That’s to say that I liked this novel, I found the plot heartbreaking and lovely. How Manu left his life in New York to be beside his mum for her last days on the Earth and how he met Chris and fell in love with him was sweet and simple and so natural it made the story very real.

I liked this story but it didn’t fully satisfy me. Although it has all the elements that could have caught my heart and put me in tears, it missed something. And it probably what I missed come from the characters. All of them were enjoyable characters but they needed to tell me so much more. I read about them be connected to each other. I saw their need to be together. I saw Manu struggle with his grief. I saw and read everything but the point is I didn’t feel them. And this is the only reason I’m giving Making Home only three stars, my inability to be involved in the story. Probably due to my mood of that day, I’m surely going to reread this new release by Dev Bentham in the next future. And I would love to read Kyle’s story. I hope the author will give it to me sooner.

The cover art by Fiona Jayde is simple and well done, I like its lightness and colors.

Sales Links: Loose id LLC     |   Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook,128 pages

Published October 3rd 2017 by Loose Id

ISBN13 9781682523940

Edition Language English

Bay Valley U series #1

An Alisa Release Day Review: Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows (Lawyers in Love #2) by Ari McKay

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

 

Successful attorneys Dane Coulter and Cal Monroe are rivals in the courtroom and friends behind the scenes. But can they be more?

 

Cal’s always carried a torch for Dane, but Dane is so deep in the closet, he can’t even admit that he might be gay. His father, a raging homophobe who rules the family with an iron fist, forces Dane into an engagement—to a woman. Dane goes along with it to keep the peace and protect his mother, but for Cal, it’s the last straw.

 

He can’t let Dane make a mistake that could ruin the rest of his life, and he only knows one surefire way to make Dane admit what’s in his heart. But confessing his feelings to his friend could backfire, driving a wedge between them. And even then, the choice must be Dane’s—to live the life his father wants, or to give up everything he has for a chance at happiness in Cal’s arms.

 

I have been looking forward to this story since I read the previous story earlier this year and it definitely didn’t disappoint.  The only thing Dane has ever stood up to his dad about is his friendship with Cal.  He can’t believe when Cal is willing to fight for him and prove that he will have someone to love and support him no matter what.

 

Throughout this story we could see how Dan is just used to doing what he was told but starts to re-think how he has been living his life.  Learning that he could break off from his dad and that it wouldn’t ruin his life is really his tipping point.  Cal’s never ending support and friendship is a big part of his willingness to change and open his life up.  Both of the characters are so perfect for each other and I loved them, I just wish we could have seen a little bit more of them together.  I look forward to more in this series.

 

Cover art by Bree Archer is absolutely wonderful.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 82 pages

Published: 2nd edition, November 8, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-582-8

Edition Language: English

Series: Lawyers in Love #2

A MelanieM Review: Scary (Twirled World Ink #3) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Welcome to Twirled World Ink where the crazies run the asylum.

Gene Sheridan earned the appropriate nickname when Legend Gib Phelps employed him at Twirled World Ink—Scary. No one made it out of his old neighborhood without scars both mental and physical. At one time, Scary thought he had a chance that is until his ex-boyfriend discovered slumming with someone like him wasn’t worth his trust fund. No-strings hookups became his go-to when he needed to relieve some tension. Co-owning a bar called Brawlers with his best friend, Tank, made it easy to find a body to use for the night. If not happy he was content with his life, but one man made content seem like such a terrible thing.

Elijah Vaughn worried about everything. His life was put on hold at eighteen when his mostly-absent parents died on one of their many adventures leaving him to raise his six-year-old brother, Brody. He’d never had anything or anyone that was just his. When Brody met a tattoo artist named Trouble, Elijah hadn’t realized how much it would change his life too. He met a huge man named Scary and how the man made him feel terrified him.

Tank Davis lost his voice the night he was attacked and had this throat slit ear-to-ear. It kept him in a world of silence. Silent and intimidating, he scared off more men than he drew to him. His best friend Scary and him made a life for themselves in small town Georgia with their bar Brawlers. Most night everyone could find him working security at the door. Scary called in a favor, and Tank met the one man he couldn’t resist, proper and upstanding Elijah Vaughn.

Can one man accept that there’s not one perfect man for him, but two damaged souls who need him to be whole?

These three men get referred to as the first threesome throughout the second and third series because there is another triad that arrives late in Brawlers.  But the strength of the bonding and relationship you find between Scary, Tank and Elijah here often makes you forget, even later on, that another threesome even exists.

The power of Scary (Twirled World Ink #3) by J.M. Dabney lies in the enormous ability of Dabney to create such vivid, strong, damaged men and then launch them and their lives  directly into our hearts.  Triply so here with Scary because the  dynamics that have to be worked out involve relationships multiple ways.  Scary and Tank have known each other as friends for years, they have shared men separately but when their attraction to Elijah threatens their old arrangements and perhaps more, something needs to change…quickly.  And then it proceeds to change even further into an area neither was aware they wanted or needed between them.

While these old friends are redefining their friendship, Elijah is there in their midst trying to figure out how he has jumped from no boyfriends and commitments to two and a family. Elijah is also working through major life changing issues, not just his romantic ones.  Every element here feels believable and authentic. We get multiple povs, a staggering amount of supporting secondary characters (Twirled World Ink characters and Brawlers characters) none of which are superfluous.  When one man is hurting and confused, you feel it in your heart, when Tank starts to withdraw from his men because of certain events and guilt, you feel every bit of his pain.

That’s due entirely to the superb writing and depth of characterizations you find here.  And with every detail and new additional character (such as Juvie, how I love Juvie, a foster child whose role I won’t reveal) I found I just wanted more. More of Princess, all of the other people that make up this gritty, wonderful world.

There is one couple left in this series. That would be Lucky and Priest in Lucky (Twirled World Ink #4).  Then the wait is on for King, the third book in the Executioners series.  Be here with me for Lucky, that’s next!  For now, I absolutely recommend Scary for everyone who love romance and gritty, hardened men finding their HEA, this one times three.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  That cover is perfection.  First Scary, then Tank, then Elijah.  Each one exactly as I have them pictured in my head.  Gritty, dark perfection.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 196 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
ASIN B01N5B9YX6
Edition Language English
setting Powers, Georgia(United States) 

In the Spotlight: Watch Point by Cecilia Tan (Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway)

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Watch Point by Cecilia Tan
Riptide Publishing
Cover art by Natasha Snow

Read an Excerpt/Purchase it here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Cecelia Tan on her Watch Point tour.  Welcome, Cecilia!

✒︎

Hello! I’m Cecilia Tan, and right now I’m virtually touring my gay Navy SEAL romance, WATCH POINT. At each stop on the tour, leave comments to be entered to win a gay/queer romance prize pack from yours truly, including not only a copy of Watch Point, but a few of my other books (The Prince’s Boy, Magic University) and a Daron’s Guitar Chronicles swag pack with notebook and stickers.

About Watch Point

Eric Sakai-Johnson joined the Navy SEALs to protect his country and the people he loves. After discharge, he finds himself relegated to protecting big pharma billionaire Aiden Milford from assassination attempts and kidnapping. Until Aiden reneges on a promise, fires Eric, and lets Eric’s mother die with millions of dollars in medical debt.

Now Eric is the kidnapper. Snatching Aiden’s twenty-two-year-old son, Chase, for a multi-million-dollar ransom is the only way to get justice. It’s time for Aiden to learn what it’s like when someone you love is at the mercy of forces beyond your control. Eric has it all planned out. The one thing he didn’t plan for is the intense erotic spark between him and Chase.

Chase has been chafing under his father’s autocratic control. A gay hookup app has been his only ticket to rebellion—to clandestine moments of freedom, excitement, and danger. Now it’s his ticket to a deep connection and amazing sex with his “captor.” On the rocky island where they’re sequestered, Chase finds Eric to be everything he wants in a man: quiet, strong, capable, and honorable . . . until he finds out he’s been captured for real.

Available now from Riptide Publishing. 

20% of all proceeds from this title will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. Twenty percent of the proceeds from this year’s collection will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

The Russian LGBT network was founded in April 2006. It is an interregional, non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. They unite and develop regional initiatives, advocacy groups (at both national and international levels), and provide social and legal services.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: https://lgbtnet.org/en.

This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:

Cecilia Tan, Watch Point

Roan Parrish, The Remaking of Corbin Wale

Katie Porter, Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Pre-ordering this collection will allow you to download each story two days prior to its official release date, as well as save 20% off the list price of the individual books.

About Cecilia Tan

Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan’s BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers chapter of RWA.

Her professional writing career began when she was still a teenager and her father offered to match every dollar she earned from writing while she lived at home. She immediately landed a gig writing a monthly column for Superteen magazine and provided articles to Teen Machine and other teen magazines. Her first professional fiction sale didn’t come until after college, though. While working a day job in book publishing in Boston, she began sending out erotic short stories. On the day she left her job to pursue a master’s degree in writing, her first short story acceptance arrived.

That was in 1992, several months after she’d founded Circlet Press, Inc., then the only book publisher dedicated to erotic science fiction and fantasy. Her first book, Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, was self-published through Circlet because there was literally nowhere else that would even consider it.

Since then, Tan has authored many books, including the ground-breaking erotic short story collections Black Feathers, White Flames, and Edge Plays, and the erotic romances Slow Surrender, Slow Seduction, and Slow Satisfaction, the Secrets of a Rock Star series, The Prince’s Boy, The Hot Streak, and the Magic University series—as well as various nonfiction books on baseball including The 50 Greatest Yankee Games and The 50 Greatest Red Sox Games.

Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2004, and won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for Best Fiction in 2010 for her crowdfunded web fiction serial Daron’s Guitar Chronicles.

She is the editor of the Baseball Research Journal and is publications director for the Society for American Baseball Research. She is also a part-time taekwondo instructor and is a certified therapist in an Asian bodywork style known as Okazaki restorative therapy. (That’s a fancy way of saying she can break you and then fix you up again.)

Tan has also been a lifelong activist in the BDSM and leather/fetish community. She is the founder of the Fetish Fair Fleamarket, the largest BDSM event in New England, and served for twenty years on the board of directors of the New England Leather Alliance (NELA) before stepping down to concentrate on writing and education.

She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner Corwin and three cats. Find out more at www.ceciliatan.com.

Connect with Cecilia:

Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Tumblr

Pinterest

Instagram

Google+

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Watch Point, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag including a copy of Watch Point, The Prince’s Boy, Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Vol 1, a DGC T-shirt, notebook, and stickers! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 11, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Cover Reveal for Jackie Keswick’s Undercover Star (giveaway)

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Release Date: November 22 2017
 
PreOrder: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Add to Goodreads
 
Cover Design: Emma Griffin
 
Length: 41,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

It sounds like the stupidest idea in the history of stupid ideas. Detective Inspector Josh Ingram wants to find a deadly medieval locket and through it, a murderer. So why does his boss decide to team him up with Matisse Vervein, a pop idol many consider just a pretty face… and expect the two of them to hunt down an art thief?


Marissa Godwin, Matisse’s no-nonsense manager, isn’t stupid. Neither is her brother-in-law, Detective Superintendent Tim Montgomery. Each is looking out for a lonely man on the verge of quitting what he does best, and both believe that their charges would make a great team.


The attraction sizzling between Josh and Matisse is hard to miss, but there’s plenty of resentment, too. Focussed on pushing Josh and Matisse towards each other, Marissa and Tim haven’t imagined the kind of trouble a music star and a detective can find when they ditch their prejudices and accept that the attraction between them is mutual. Or how far each is prepared to go to prove it to the other.


A standalone, feel-good, action adventure romance set in England and Scotland, featuring a reluctant pop star who’s not out, a detective trying his hand at being a bodyguard, plenty of adventure, and a happy ending.

 
Author Bio
 

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.


Jackie loves stories about unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She has a thing for green eyes, blogs about English history and food, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.


And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.


For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places:


Website
Twitter
FB
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